What is Zometa?
Zometa is a drug belonging to the bisphosphonates group and is commonly used for cancer patients, especially those with complications to their skeletal system secondary to increased blood calcium levels. This drug acts to reduce the release of calcium from the bones thereby reducing its level on the blood. Zometa is prescribed for patients not specifically to treat the cancer but to help in maintaining normal calcium levels in the blood and preventing loss of bone mass, which are conditions associated with many cancer patients. So, it is common to see that Zometa is prescribed along with other drugs that fight the cancer in patients.
Zometa or zoledronic acid is usually administered to patients intravenously. A typical dose lasts for as long as 20 minutes and during this entire time, patients are monitored. It is said that one can only see the drug’s effects after about a week from administration. Frequency of Zometa treatment is usually done every three or four weeks, depending on physician’s orders and on the result of the patient’s several blood tests.
As with any other drug, Zometa may also cause some side effects and these include some dizziness, vomiting, nausea, stomach pains, anaemia, fever, shivering, pain on the injection site, and pain on different parts of the body. Other patients also experience kidney problems, pain during urination, irregularities in heartbeat, and/or mood swings.
Those who are allergic to zoledronic acid must not take Zometa. It is also common that doctors recommend a dental exam before commencing treatment as this drug may cause some bone loss, pain, swelling, and/or numbness around the jaw area. Pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers are also not allowed to take this drug. Those with kidney problems must also take caution and discuss with their doctors regarding their treatment options as they have a greater risk of having an adverse reaction with the drug.
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